How Much Do I Hate My CLIQ?

Question: How much do I hate my Motorola CLIQ?

Answer: Enough to write this post.

In the age of two year service commitments for decent phone pricing, let me caution you to be absolutely certain which phone you want to purchase before you commit. In my case, I chose the first Android phone Motorola has ever made. Mistake #1. Never spend significant amounts of money on a Gen1 device. They will always be improved and/or exposed. In my case, Gen4 of the iPhone is the perfect example. Everything I want a smartphone to do (except have a physical keyboard, ARGH!) is accomplished through what will soon be announced as the fourth generation iPhone. I don’t personally need widgets, though I wouldn’t mind if Apple gets that part right next year.

As for the CLIQ, it’s not so much a hardware issue as a software issue. I place the blame squarely upon Motorola’s MotoBlur software. Seriously, it’s a P.O.S. If they’d not tried to get cute and instead just made it an Android phone without added bells and whistles, I’d A) have a phone that, like the Droid, could have been updated to 2.1 six months ago and B) have a phone that doesn’t randomly just turn off. Yeah. It turns off. Super awesome.

Lesson learned: Wait for a gadget’s reliability to be established. Or spend the BIG money to get the phone without contract so you can sell it on Craigslist and bounce to another carrier if and when you find you’re unsatisfied.

Take it from me. This pony ain’t worth the ride.

My First Impression of the Motorola CLIQ

It’s officially Day 2 of owning my Motorola CLIQ, but since I just got my data package activated this afternoon, I consider this Day 1. I have some realistic observations of the CLIQ, both pro and con. But I promise to be fair. No buyer’s ecstasy or Apple hatred clouding my judgment. I’m not a hyped up fanboy like some (not mentioning any names, but it starts with an “r” and end with a “jensen“).

Here are my initial thoughts:

The Look

Love it. Absolutely love the look of this phone. I got the white case as opposed to the titanium/grey (though the backing is still grey).

The Feel

Solid construction. Not at all flimsy. Feels nice and sturdy. Physical keys are a little awkward in that there’s no spacing between them. They are beveled to make each key distinguishable, but the T-Mobile Sidekick is still by far the best mobile keyboard ever made.

To turn the “screen saver” mode on or off, you have to click this button that runs along the side of the device (or the top if in landscape typing mode). My finger keeps trying to press a button a centimeter above the actual button, so I keep forcing myself to look and press the ACTUAL button. Not entirely sure what this means, but it stood out.

The Music

Adding music was a breeze, once I figured out that I need to pull down the status bar to tell the phone to switch from charge mode to download music mode. I ONLY use a Macbook for personal use, but dragging and dropping music files from within my laptop to the phone’s storage was easy as pie (and quick too).

Motoblur

This is the real question in my mind. I’m still a n00b at this point, so we’ll see how I adapt to the setup. Here’s the breakdown: The first thing I see on my home screen is the latest status update from my friends. Mine is set up to combine Twitter and Facebook, so I get everything there. BUT, seeing as how I’m friends with 200+ people on Facebook and I’m following 200+ on Twitter, the chances of me glancing down and seeing an update I really care about are less than stellar.

However, I can tap that latest status update and up pops a page with the same update and a button to favorite or reply. I can click the title bar above that page and the view changes to a vertical list of tweets and facebook updates in chronological order. I’m basically getting a Twhirl kind of singular column view.

Problem: nowhere in this setup do I see the option to view replies. I mean, half of my glancing at Twitter is to see if I’ve missed a reply. How did they miss this important function? I’m looking and looking, but for the life of me I can’t find a page that shows replies only.

What we have here…. is failure….to communicate.

This means I need a Twitter app. And I know nothing of Androidy Twitter apps, so I’ll probably end up downloading a dozen of them and testing them all to see which I like best.

I’ll still use the Motoblur for reviewing the conversation as it goes on, but it could really only be my one-stop-shop for social media conversations if it A) added a reply page or B) I reduce my friend number to less than 50 per site. And even then, I would probably STILL miss replies when I’m away from my phone for long periods of time (yes, I DO put it down for hours at a time).

The Initial Verdict:

  • T-Mobile gets a C- for making me wait 24 hrs to have a functioning data package.
  • Motorola’s online features get an A- for a superior phone and social media experience with only one real lack – the reply column.
  • Motorola CLIQ the phone gets an A- for everything being stellar except speakerphone quality. With the volume very loud, the speaker starts to sound like it’s over capacity.
  • Video recording image quality is excellent for a phone, but sound quality left me disappointed.
  • The keyboard gets a B+ (for comparison, Blackberrys get a D, G1 gets a D, and Sidekick ID/2/3 gets an A).
  • Downloading apps (B+) is easy peesy but doesn’t seem to tell me more than how many stars an app has received.
  • The 2GB micro SD card is sorely lacking in space, so I’ll be buying a 16GB card this weekend.

That wraps it up for this mini-review.

What did I miss? Ask and I’ll tell.